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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Down for the count

No. 8 Spartans clobber Collins, Kansas

Kansas center Cole Aldrich watches from the bench with dismay as Michigan State increases their lead during the second half Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich watches from the bench with dismay as Michigan State increases their lead during the second half Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.

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2009 KU-Michigan State

— Sherron Collins doesn’t know where the errant elbow came from.

He definitely knows where it landed.

Straight on his schnoz.

“I was afraid I broke my nose. Good thing I didn’t,” Kansas University’s junior point guard said after he and his Jayhawks were bloodied, 75-62, by No. 8-ranked Michigan State on Saturday afternoon in Breslin Center.

Collins’ 20-point second-half effort — one that helped keep the score respectable on a day KU trailed by 19 at halftime — and favorable medical report on his nose proved to be about the only bright spots in KU’s final nonconference game of the 2008-09 season.

“It was just one of those days things were not working,” Collins said after collecting 25 points, eight assists and eight turnovers. “We took some bad shots the first half. We’ve got to do a better job with conference play coming up.”

The Jayhawks (11-4), who led 7-1 and 11-6 before getting outscored, 31-7, to close the half, talked more about the future than the horrid stretch in which they missed 11 of 14 shots and committed 10 turnovers the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Big 12 Conference play begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home versus Kansas State.

“I told our team after the game, ‘Certain guys have to step up and play well in conference play,’” KU coach Bill Self said, noting freshman Tyshawn Taylor (two points, no assists, two turnovers, 18 minutes) was one of them.

“He’s gone from being maybe a guy you’d think was one of the best freshmen in our league to, he’s not been very effective of late,” Self said. “Maybe he’s hit the wall a bit, maybe not.”

Two other rookies — the Morris twins — also were included in that need-to-play-well discussion.

Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for six points, three rebounds and seven fouls in 22 minutes.

“Coach told me that I was the main player who has to step up, to start to do what he recruited me for,” said Marcus Morris, who had two points and no boards in eight minutes. “I’ve got to step it up and perform at the highest level.”

Self — he said much of the trouble was simply youth and inexperience — and team leader Collins believe that’s possible.

“It’s the freshman wall I guess,” Collins said of the twins’ play of late. “They are going to be good. I’m going to talk to them. It’s my job. I’ll probably take them out to eat, let them know they’ll be all right. We’re going to need them. Our second season is starting.”

Collins may invite backcourt partner Taylor — who did not start the second half as Travis Releford replaced him — to lunch as well.

“I may take him to tag along. He’ll be fine. He knows he can make plays,” said Collins, who said he benefited from some lunch and dinner sessions with elder KU players when he was a freshman.

“My freshman year wasn’t always smooth. I would get down on myself. Russell (Robinson) and Mario (Chalmers) would take me out to eat and tell me I’d be all right. They helped me a lot. I have to do as the old guys did for me,” Collins said.

Collins, who played so well the second half after committing six turnovers the first 20 minutes, was involved in a play that actually might have propelled the Jayhawks to a wild, come-from-behind victory.

After scoring a basket to cut a game-high 21-point deficit to 63-54 (with 3:17 left), Collins misfired on a three that could have closed the gap to six points with under three minutes remaining. Instead, Chris Allen immediately hit a three on the other end, making it 66-54 at 2:19, and that was that.

“Maybe that would have made them (Spartans) sweat,” Self said of a Collins three.

Maybe.

“I thought it was good. I had my feet set. It came up short,” Collins said.

Obviously, this one was lost in the first half, however.

MSU’s 37-18 halftime lead ultimately proved impossible to overcome.

“They were great from the 15-minute mark the rest of the first half. We played as poorly as we can play,” Self said. “The first half we stunk, and they made us look bad.

“The second half, we competed hard.”

Things were so bad the first half that Self went to a lineup of reserves Tyrone Appleton, Matt Kleinmann and Quintrell Thomas to go with Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar.

“I was looking for anything. When you are playing that poorly, why don’t you try something?” Self said.

He and the Jayhawks were eager to get out of town on a snowy, miserable day — only having about an hour and a half delay at the airport before landing in Topeka at 6:45 p.m.

Now it’s time to think about Kansas State. The non-con season is history.

“I thought we played about to the level I thought we’d play to. I didn’t think we’d be great by conference play starting,” Self said. “I don’t think our record is quite as good. I hoped our record would be 12-3, and we are 11-4. We gave away a couple games we probably shouldn’t have. I can’t say I expected us to come up here and control the game from start to finish. I expected we’d play well, hang around and hopefully have a chance late. That did not happen.”

The Jayhawks are hoping for a better result as league play begins.

“The thing we can take from today is the way we competed the second half,” Cole Aldrich said after his 14-point, 11-board outing. “We played well. It’s something to build on.”

Comments

flsku 11 years, 3 months ago

In 2005-06 we were 9-4 going in to conference play. We had gone to Maui and been beaten by UofA and arKansas. We had lost to St. Joes on the road. Our only significant win was against an undisciplined SEC team in the Fieldhouse. Self could not find a true point guard, nor comfort with a set lineup. Sound familiar?We went on to win the Big 12 tournament, and were a 4 seed in the tourney. In two years, that team was National Champs. Would you be satisfied in being the 2010-11 NCAA Champions? Beats the heck out of a 20-year layover...

John Mueller 11 years, 3 months ago

Yikes. where to begin.TT has all kinds of ability, but I haven't really seen him make shots yet. If he cannot score a jump shot with any kind of range, not sure how he can start in this league. Very athletic to the basket, but also needs to learn how to be an impact defensive player. I cannot remember him creating transition opportunities in the front court?I think MM shows flashes up unbelievable potential and I feel like he got jobbed yesterday on a few calls. It is amazing to watch freshman get smoked on calls when they play catch up defense with their hands. It happens every year, Julian Wright to Cole Aldrich to MM..frustrating.Unless he can drive a bus, I have no idea how Mario Little is going to help this team win.I think I could learn more about basketball in 5 minutes from Bob Knight explaining how to change the lint catch in the dryer than I could from listening to Tom Izzo scream at his players for 20 yrs. That was a joke by CBS and Vern and Clark were so out of it they kept thinking it was insightful.I didn't think I would ever say this, but I miss Billy Packer.....If this team wins 3 road games in conference it will be a good result.Can Todd Reesing shoot a jumper?

kusayzone 11 years, 3 months ago

jhwkfan---you are the bozo!! I cant make it any simpler than that!!! This team with no starters from a year ago, the national championship team, are supposed win again in your circus world? I am sorry they are not understanding that since they dont live up to your expectations that you evidently inherited from a divine source. I would imagine that you have never even played the game on a D-1 level. OH WAIT, because you watch BB on TV that makes you King, Judge, and Jury. You are a spoiled little brat who has had success off of someone elses coat tail and now you are angry because they dont live up to your expectations. You sound like a misery fan--so go change your log name and leave the rest of us who understand that youth and rebuilding is part of the process. By the way, Memphis was also 11-3 as of yesterday, but they had 2 returning starters. Hum??? the year Syracuse won the national championship they played its first 13 games at home? Go find a different sport to watch. I would suggest hockey---so get the puck out of here!

osagefire209 11 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone else agree that the morris twins have no energy,no passion. They have gotten way to much credit before the season and so far this season. They have not impressed me one bit. I think the only 4 players that are trying are Tyrel Reed, Cole Aldrich,Sherron Collins, and Brady Morningstar. These players are the only consistent players we have. Tyshawn Taylor shows up every now and then, it sure be nice if he would show up every night. I really hope ku starts improving I know where young and making some stupid decisions but we should have not got beaten by Michigan State by 13. I am sure Bill Self will address the twins and start pushing the bench players to come in and step it up. Sherron Collins can not keep caring the team.

kvskubball 11 years, 3 months ago

osagefire,NO, I don't agree. They are freshmen. They don't have the luxury of being brought along slowly. Why don't you grow up and give the team a break. They are all trying. If they weren't trying, someone else would be playing. Coach knows a litle bit about effort, so I'll let him be the one to decide who plays and how much.I'm realistic about this team. We are at the bottom of the college basketball life-cycle. We had a dominant team last year. This year we are starting from scratch. I don't know of many teams that could do that and have a winning record against the competition we've faced.Be positive or buzz off!

Christopher Johnson 11 years, 3 months ago

Collins still struggles to be a responsible team leader. 8 turnovers. The problem with his game is poor decision making. Next time we need to recruit someone as talented as Collins, we need to make sure the player also has an IQ at least over 80. I'm tired of watching Collins play hard, bless his heart as my mother would say, but still either commit freshmen mistakes or try too hard to force things he shouldn't. I guess everybody struggled this past game. I know not all of the blame goes on Collins. He actually kept us a respectable distance from MSU. He's doing some great things, no doubt, but on a day when the whole team is struggling, maybe he shouldn't get 8 turnovers. 8 turnovers is RIDICULOUS for a so-called point guard and team leader.

Mark Walters 11 years, 3 months ago

Agree with all that, osage. The Morris twins will be sitting at the end of the bench by the end of the year at this rate. The twins have a look like they are watching instead of playing on their face. Don't defend well, don't score well around the basket for being 6'9", don't set solid picks, foul to often.......their only plus is getting some rebounds. Seems like a waste to have 2- 6'9" players with potential and all we get is around 6-10 points and 6-10 rebounds (on good nights) COMBINED. As much as I love Collins, I doubt that him "talking to them" at mid-season will help, that talk and leadership should have been shown by Collins when they walked into the gym the first time. Collins and Aldrich are looking tired themselves already.Anyhoot, there is still hope but it could be a long season, but I can still look at the championship poster and get by awhile. This year rebuild.....next year, they better be competitive, but that means we need someone to show some promise the second half of year. Yeah Morningstar and Reed can shoot if open, but their athletic ability seems lower. Taylor should be more consistent. Little still unknown.

JNHawks 11 years, 3 months ago

I was quite happy with the second half, we competed and got close against a very good veteran team. I think we are about right where it was expected. We will not win the big 12 this year. I hope we finish no worse than third. I hope we make the tournament. It would be great to finish undefeated this season in The field house. These are my expectations. Next season they will be much higher. Let's not forget last season! If Mario had stuck around we would have higher goals, but this is a rebuilding year. Memphis is not doing that great either, and they returned a couple of starters.

Blake Post 11 years, 3 months ago

jhwkfan162515, you just plain suck. You don't insult the home team or its players. Obviously you are a fair weather fan... or not a fan. Get out of these posts. For most, being reigning National Champions is enough. I think the coaches have proven they can handle the team details. You don't know (&$ and you are a )((*&&^. springtxhawk, I agree mostly. A lot of the tv commentators have been bad and useless. They offer the same speculation over and over again on, for instance, on official reviews in football, often focusing on the wrong thing. The network was so fixated on Izzo. Not much respect for the reigning champions. Izzo is very irritating and I wouldn't play for him. Same with KSU's Purple Martin. I will also remind fans that in 83 we had fab freshmen, including Thompson and Kellogg, lost to KSU who had no-name guys, and the coach was fired. By 86, those guys were in the final four. kusayzone, I agree with you completely. osagefire209, the Morris twins are freshman and are trying to figure it out. At times they look unsure. You see this in young players. You may see something quite different in the future, especially with the tutors they have.

leohawkfan 11 years, 3 months ago

Not much respect for the reigning champs?????? Did they deserve it? Uh, that would be a NO! They need to stop trying to be individual stars and start acting like a respectable team! The free throw shooting was horrific and had they made even half of their attempts they would have closed the gap. Come on already, I am a huge KU fan and I understand the rebuilding, but we can only ride with that excuse for so long. We need to get serious and get back to the respectable Jayhawks we know we can be!!!

kubmg 11 years, 3 months ago

Hi, this is Ed Hightower...I want to have Izzo's baby!

NH_JHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

People need to chill and stop freaking out so much. We're going to be alright. Other than the UMass game, I think we've played about as expected from a team with ZERO returning starters and 7 newbies to D1 ball....basically starting from scratch as someone mentioned above. And if you expected our young hawks to win games against Syracuse and Michigan St then you have unrealistic expectations for sure. Granted we didn't show up 1st half yesterday and it was really tough to watch. It's also been frustrating to watch Sherron play out of control at times, Cole missing bunnies, and the twins playing soft around the rim and fouling so much. But I think this team will continue to gain confidence and grow into their roles as we enter conf. play. Time will tell, but I'm not ready to push the panick button yet. So sit tight and just enjoy the ride for what it is this year. Our season starts Tuesday night vs. KSU and it's a game we will win.

jhawk92 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey jhwkfan162515, there is no way you can be a true Jayhawk fan while you call our players "bozos." Please defect as you have the class of a typical Missouri fan. We are the national champions who happened to lose the majority of our contributors to the NBA. You need to come to reality. In the meantime, quit posting such negative comments - or move to Columbia.

cklarock 11 years, 3 months ago

Take it easy, folks -- the Morris twins and TT aren't washouts. They are freshmen who at the moment aren't quite ready to compete against a legit top-10 team. If you've watched them closely from game #1, you've seen that they have learned a tremendous amount already, but don't get it twisted -- they're still freshmen.The truth is, we were never going to repeat, and we were never going to make a return to the Final Four. Those goals aren't what this season is about. This season is about growing pains -- watching a young team get better over time. If you aren't prepared to enjoy that, just hop off the bandwagon and wait a year. When you get back, both the Twins and TT will be legit Big-12 impact players. Three years from now, QT and Releford will be studs.

wischalk 11 years, 3 months ago

I like how people have resorted to telling other posters that they are idiots who should buzz off and not post anymore. Reader comments here amount to a message board for everyone to share their opinions and respond to one another. If we all lined up on the same side of the fence on every issue, there would be no point in anyone posting at all. Yes, some people have overwhelmingly ridiculous expectations for a team with only one guy who played significant D1 minutes before this season, and sometimes people tend to get a little negative because of this. I, for one, enjoy watching a young team develop (which inherently includes struggles)... but there are always both positives and negatives to discuss here. We can let fellow fans people point out some concerns without jumping all over them. To that end... some of my thoughts...

wischalk 11 years, 3 months ago

It typically takes post players more time to adjust to the college game, as it is played so differently than in high school. Guards usually adapt more easily. With that in mind, as frustrating as the twins can often be, I have been extremely disappointed by Tyshawn's performance for weeks now. He came in as one of our lowest rated recruits, and was a bit of an afterthought for many fans with a late signing after he was released by Marquette... but then after he played so well early, it seems he's been given a free pass for weeks of miserable play. He's not a good shooter, and I'm fine with that for now, but he has not given any consistent effort lately. He isn't getting to the basket, isn't creating for others, isn't playing good defense... and the part that kills me the most is that he so frequently throws lazy, telegraphed perimeter passes that get picked and turned into fast break points. If you have a few turnovers trying to squeeze the ball inside to Cole, that's acceptable... but perimeter passes should not be swiped so often. Passes to him seem to get taken more than they should as well, because he waits for a pass to get to him instead of taking a step or two toward the ball to go get a perimeter pass. I'm glad Self finally called him out and sat him to start the second half. I hope it shakes him up a bit. [Remember a few weeks ago when posters were discussing Taylor going pro after this year? THAT is the sort of absurdity that makes this board so entertaining.]

wischalk 11 years, 3 months ago

To hawkandtigerfan (mind you, I really don't see how that name isn't an oxymoron) and others who keep saying that Collins isn't a leader and his play is costing us... WHAT? Remember what we have out there with him. Collins talks, yells, pumps his teammates up, and more than anything, leads by example in playing as hard as anyone in the country and never giving up. I agree that he too often seems out of control and has what look like silly turnovers, or shoots a three when no one is around to hit the glass... but he keeps us in games consistently. I swear there are times this team would go scoreless for 10 minute stretches if Collins didn't force it a few times and often come up with amazing plays. He brings it every play on both ends and he does make people better, but outside of Cole he's playing with zero experience... guys who look confused and out of position more often than not. That leads to plenty of his turnovers. Others are when he tries to do things that are mildly insane, which he does because he has to on this team and because Coach Self asks him to... and he delivers more than I would have thought possible (especially for a guy his size). I would not have said that the numerous 1-on-3 and 1-on-4 drives he forced up in the Tennessee game were smart (actually, I think I was yelling every time he did it)... but damn if he didn't just make all of them. Remember that basketball is a team game, and when Sherron is playing with guys who don't know how to play consistently at this level yet, he isn't always going to look great either... but he will be part of what helps them get to the level they need to be playing at. Anyone want to imagine this team without Sherron?

flsku 11 years, 3 months ago

Beating a Syracuse team, who lost to Cleveland State at home, 40 miles from Lawrence should not have been expected. Beating Tennessee was an unexpected victory. Losing to a 2-6 UMass team, basically at home, was unforgivable. Other than that this team is right on track. Yes, their free-throw shooting has been abyssmal, but that is our Jayhawks. And, no, there are not 5 cohesive starters day-in and day-out yet, but as I mentioned earlier - like it or not - this is a system proven by Coach Self to work. Starters will emerge. The stars will rise to their potential. This team will compete to win the Big XII this season, and will compete to win a national championship before the current group leaves. And the haters on this site will have their Morris twins jerseys, and be making brilliant contributions about how Sherron & Cole are the greatest Jayhawks ever.Enjoy being the defending champs. Enjoy having a coach who can win in April. Enjoy being able to recruit East of the Mississippi. Enjoy being 7-8 deep with Top 100 prospects every year. Enjoy not being Mizzou.Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 11 years, 3 months ago

Q. Does anyone here feel that either of the Morris twins will have a breakout game this year? I'm doubtful based on their poor vertical leaping ability and lack of a nasty streak, but would love to be proven wrong.

jasonsgill 11 years, 3 months ago

I think missing in this discussion is that beating MSU, a legitimate top 10 team, on the road would be tough for all but maybe 5 teams in the country. Further, outside of the 19-1 run in the first half we outplayed a really good MSU team. Travis Releford had his best game of the year, Cole played foul free and effective ball against two or more 7 footers with NBA potential and Tyshawn Taylor had one of his worst games of the season. The way Sherron was driving against that MSU team in the second half was incredible, nobody, save maybe Texas, will be able to offer similar speed and depth at the 1-2, and Sherron had his way in the last 20. His turnovers were awful, but even those were carelessness, not bad decision making.As for the Twins, remember it wasn't even until a few games into THIS season that Cole learned how to play without fouling, and they were just playing against a really solid forntline, if you all are expecting the same result against KSU or ISU you are insane or masochistic. I, for one, while carrying doubts, have high expectations yet for this team, this year and beyond...

Mark Walters 11 years, 3 months ago

Okay, you all can talk all day about how the hawks are young and they are freshmen.....but quit using that as an excuse. Taylor and Releford at least show some promise. AT THIS POINT OF THEIR CAREER...the Morris twins look like a bust. They may very well be alright in a couple of years, but AT THIS POINT, they havent really shown much. The conversion to college ball has has not faired well. If you want to argue that they are freshman, I can argue and list all day other freshman in D1 that have made the transition well. These particular freshman have not made the jump to light speed very effectively and most of the time look as if they have their head up their rear and as eddiesuttonschool has noted, don't show a nasty streak or leaping ability. kvskubball....what osage was saying is NO, they don't look like they are trying, they look like they are wondering around thinking of BBguns or other toys.I love the hawks forever, but in my opinion, the twins are not where they should be. I am very dissappointed with what they have shown.

Mark Walters 11 years, 3 months ago

I actually liked the izzo being miked addition. Didnt think it was degrading to KU at all, but a welcome addition to the telecast. Izzo is a great coach and don't feel offended by listening to him being miked. If you don't want to here that...listen to it on radio. The best part was when the ref with the foot problem said SOB on the air because izzo was close. They didn't preview that before they replayed it and added some humor to a 31-7 run that was upsetting to fans and obviously embarassing to Self as he walked off the court at the half.

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

kusayzone, kvskubball - good pointsFrom what I have read in these blogs the last few days I won't have to watch the rest of the season as there are many nostradamus genuses that have it all figured out. Thanks for the negative insight. I'll take it to heart.... never. It appears as though many readers have no memories of frustrating games and individual performances from the past. How about a potential national championship team beaten by a 'no body' or loosing early in the tournament. I sure am glad I don't base my self worth or my KU affiliation on these games. I would not have missed those games then nor will I choose to miss them in the future. Coaching staff and players, Thank you! You are doing a great job. I look forward to the journey. Keep up the good work.Chicken little and the nostradamus crew - there is a school for the mentally disabled a few hours east on I-70 with your name on it.. any one of you can drive the bus.

Jay_Hawk_Lifer 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree that everyone needs a valium right now. Chill out....How many teams in D1 would be happy with 11 and 4 right now. Quite a few I imagine. IMHO I think we have the potential to ne one of the best teams in the country. Of this might not happen for awhile. I see great things in the near future for our team. I do believe we need more Tyrel Reed out there. There is no substitute for fundamental basketball. Guys like Teahan etc will be way better next season. Tyrel has earned his stripes thus far.

JNHawks 11 years, 3 months ago

under the schedule section it is mistakenly printed that we had a "W" against MSU

William Daniels 11 years, 3 months ago

kubmg said"Hi, this is Ed Hightower...I want to have Izzo's baby!"You noticed Hightower's twinkling eyes every time he was around Izzo too? It was so blatant I noticed it clearly. The touching and flirting, then Hightower would go back out and make a traveling call.Geez.

jasonsgill 11 years, 3 months ago

I thought Tyrel played some of the worst defense of the game against MSU, too many times he got caught looking at the ball and his man nailed an open three or a backdoor layup/oop. His O is coming along fine but he needs to go to the Morningstar school of staying with your man...

Dan Harris 11 years, 3 months ago

jhwk162515- you need to change your name, your ripping of these YOUNG kids is typical of the TYPE of "fan" you represent and we don't need you! What do you expect, 35-0 each year?

Devin Rutledge 11 years, 3 months ago

ALL YOU BASHERS NEED TO FIND A NEW TEAM. THIS IS ONE OF THE FOUR MOST ELITE PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE WILL NOT LOSE GAMES, OR HAVE GAMES WHERE OUR FRESHMAN DON'T PLAY TO THEIR POTENTIAL. FOR GOD SAKES, THEIR FRESHMAN, 18 AND 19 YEAR OLD KIDS. IT TAKES SOME EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS(MICH STATE LOSS) TO MAKE THEM INTO THE B RUSH'S, AND SUPER MARIOS OF THE WORLD. THIS TEAM IS GOING TO BE SPECIAL, MAYBE AS SOON AS NEXT YEAR, OR MAYBE MARCH, WHO KNOWS. BUT YOU CAN'T CALL YOUR SELF A FAN OF KU AND TALK ABOUT OUR BOYS LIKE THAT. YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF IT. YOU NEED TO BE A NBA FAN, THEN MAYBE YOU HAVE SOMEWHAT OF AN ARGUMENT. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. MAYBE YOU SHOULD MOVE TO MANHATTAN, YOU'D FIT RIGHT IN JHWKFAN162515, CHANGE YOUR SCREEN NAME TO SOMETHING LIKE LOW LIFE LOSER.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 3 months ago

This team has some serious issues, and that is the reality. They fold easily when the smallest thing goes wrong and don't have any energy. At least the 2005-6 team had energy and fight to go along with their youth. I'm sorry to say but I am bracing myself for a long losing streak at some point during the Big 12 schedule, and very likely an NIT birth.

OutlawJHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

All of the criticisms of Hightower's officiating are valid. I watched the game at Henry T's with a group of long time KU fans and when they announced the officials, we all agreed we were now playing six guys. Every time we started to make some sort of run, Hightower would make some kind of call. The only thing he didn't was "high-fice" Izzo. He did spend enough time around him during the game. Hightower will alwasy be a 'homer" official. With that said, had he not been calling the game, we would have only lost by single digits...

Blake Post 11 years, 3 months ago

Hawks rule. I'm going to enjoy the title. The coaches can worry about the next game. Bashers go home. Many players took a few years to develop into great players or great contributors. How many of the team from last year were even close as freshmen? Give it a rest. There is an orange glow and champion sparkle from the freakin' greatest year ever. The Jayhawks have given us as much as we could ever hope for, and more. Let the coaches worry about it. The negadroids in here should be silenced like the misery they sound like, or just get out if you don't like it.

Blake Post 11 years, 3 months ago

I will say it now. NIT means Never In This life. Anyone who so suggests is blessed with some sort of craze.

lance1jhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I heard that the Morris twins did not make the return flight back with the rest of the team.Head coach Bill Self made them rent a van and drive back to Lawrence with the giant turd they left on the floor of the Breslin Center.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 3 months ago

I think "inexperience" is more the problem than "youth." I remember Mario, Rush, etc. going into panic mode every time they came into a new situation--first away game, first meeting with physical play, first everything. They always learned from it and performed better the next time they came up against the same thing, but they needed that first exposure. I have every confidence these kids will do the same thing. We were so used to watching a team that knew exactly what to do in any situation, knew what all their teammates were going to do, could count on them to be in exactly the right place at the right time. This is a whole new world, and it's going to take more than a non-conference season to get it all together. I'm willing to be patient and give them the chance to improve. Mostly I'm encouraged by their determination to keep fighting against MSU.

leonard 11 years, 3 months ago

For the Hightower bashers...me included.When Collins was whacked in the nose and had to leave the game...Izzo's live mike caught Hightower's explanation of the play. He told Izzo that Collins was at fault because he "ran into the blow".The weasel has no shame...and even less ability.

Greg Lux 11 years, 3 months ago

Jhwkfan162515 --- The only mistake you made was not * your entire post ... you expect way to much of a team with great potential but little experience... Most of these kids are not even 20 ... Give me a break .. let them grow up and give them some time. The kids have the talent .. they just need to get a little older and get more experience.. They are KIDS !!! Playing away from lawrence is a big deal for them and they will adjust with time .. give them time ..

Theutus 11 years, 3 months ago

Jhawkerman thats a pretty lame excuse... "Oh my god, they are just kids".If 17 and 18 year olds can manage to fight wars and do the things they do under those conditions, I don't really think playing a game is too much to ask.We definitely have some issues with team leadership and taking charge... But being young isn't an excuse for what we've seen on the court.

Matt Bowers 11 years, 3 months ago

Think it is too early to question the twins. Bill Self knew what he was doing when he recruited them. They will be okay, it may not happen as soon as we will like, but don't doubt that they are committed. Do you really think that Coach Self would let them play. When you are not shooting the ball well, I believe that it is even more important to run your offense, and not rush. I believe this game got away from us because our guys rush the ball. When the Hawks were within 9 points and Collins jacked that ball, it broke my heart. That has been typical this year. Rock Chalk

KGphoto 11 years, 3 months ago

We should win our next 6 games.23-8 and get a 7 or 8 seed. A 5 or 6 if we make it to the Big 12 title game.I was a little hard on the twins yesterday. Fact is, State is tough. And winning in Michigan would've been a mirage anyway. We would've come out falsely confident and it could've done more harm than good.I really think KU will start looking better during conference play. I know that sounds funny but we took on a fairly tough non-con this year, with the most inexperienced team we've fielded in years.I like our chances come March.

Christopher Johnson 11 years, 3 months ago

wischalk . . .First of all, maybe it's not an oxymoron because there are more teams that are tigers than just mizzou. I hate Mizzou too. Did your small brain ever think of that? Second, if basketball is a team game like you say it is, why doesn't Collins play team ball more consistently than he does? I'm rooting for him, but still am not jumping his diaper dandy bandwagon that started without any reason his freshman year. He's a man with a lot of talent and a small basketball IQ during games. I keep waiting for him to grow up. This is his year to grow up and lead. I would like to see him do it without selfish and bad shots and without 8 turnovers.

jayhawker_97 11 years, 3 months ago

it breaks my heart reading such negative comments, complaints, b!tch!ng about our freshmen. what kind of fans are you? don't you realize the fans are great factors why they chose KU - yeah, the fans - yeah you, we, those who should be cheering for the players, be there for them when they need supports.if you have opinions you think you can improve their performance, thats' great. post them.or, better, challenge them in the gymn next time you see them. go play pick-up games with them. not all freshmen are created equal - that's all.for those other fans who have words of gratitude and hopefuls for the team, i'm with you all the way.

ku_jayhawk09 11 years, 3 months ago

OK, i know this has nothing to do with the story but, does anyone have Big 12 TV cause i've never heard of it and am pissed that the k-state game is on it. Does anyone know of websites streaming the game.

pfister99 11 years, 3 months ago

Last year, as a fellow Jayhawk and I watched the tournament, we talked of returning players and a large recruiting class...wondering if they would be good. Our conversation boiled down to, after 20 years of waiting, nothing would matter if we could win the National Championship. As the Final Game appeared to be coming to a close in regulation I would have given up a year of Freshmen losses just to win...and we did. I'll take the lumps now. At the end of every game, win or lose, we just say "National Champs, Baby!"Coach Self can take players, teach them toughness, and compete. Having Danny Manning to work with the big men only helps. We'll get there. It was fun watching Mario, Rush, Julian, Russell, Darnell, Darrell, Sasha grow up. This bunch will be fine.We are two possessions from 13-2. I'm good with that, with this young team.

FlaHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

This is a young and more important immature team.22-10 sounds like a great season to me with the Moris twins hitting the weight room and TT and TR working on their game in Lawrence during the summer. Not ready to give up on QTyet and Little should chill until next fall to heal!2009-10 will be a much better season 29-6 or so would be my quess!

Tony Bandle 11 years, 3 months ago

wischalk - jaybate, did you take on a new alias???strikewise - If that what it takes for this team to grow,, so be it .jayhawker_97 - Agreed..just three months ago we all talking about this young team having major growing pains. So far:1] Haven't played in Conference yet.2] Only two games farther than 50 mile from Allen Fieldhouse.3] Best players are a junior and a sophomore, neither of which started last year.4] ZERO senior leadership.5] And maybe most importantly and mostly forgotten because we are by ourselves on this side of the fence, KU has the Defending National Champion Bulls-eye squarely situated on it's back. Only one team has that and every other team that plays KU is shooting at that bulls-eye. It doesn't matter that this is a different team with different players, beating us will be a priority for every team on the schedule.There is nothing wrong with anticipating excellence and being frustrated when it does not occur, but, everyone please keep one word in mind.....PERSPECTIVE. Enjoy the season for what it is. And, no matter what happens, wait to you get a load of us in 2010!!!!

100 11 years, 3 months ago

We played that crappy for 20 minutes of a game at a top 10's place, and still almost figured out a way to pull it out with a bunch of kids fresh out of high school. We almost beat MSU, playing nearly as poorly as we can. How often does Collins hit that shot? All the time. Give these kids a break. That was a final four caliber team they beat in the 2nd half. Thats right, beat. They will be very good by season's end.And we have the best 7 footer in the country joining us next year!Rock Chalk

Kevin Pavey 11 years, 2 months ago

Like many of you, I saw the preseason #2 ranking for the incoming class and envisioned dominant rebounding, amazing 3pt shooting, and slashing / dunking. However, in reality, teams that perform like this WITH MOSTLY FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES are exceedingly rare. McNamara / Anthony come to mind but you don't often see incoming classes make an immediate impact like we'd like. I get as frustrated as many of you do with the passiveness and amazing perimeter passing. I have to keep reminding myself that I am on the ground floor of a skyscraper that Coach Self is erecting. He will add floors, electric, plumbing, windows, phone/data jacks each game this year and into next year. What I need to keep reminding myself, as I'm slowly watching the structure come together, is that building a skyscraper - or a nat'l c-ship caliber team, doesn't happen overnight (unless your name is Steinbrenner and you can write a check for it) - so I need to enjoy the games for the sake of the games and not get too upset when we get beat. Coach Self has proven (Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois, and now in God's country) that he can recruit, develop, motivate, and direct winners. This entire year is a learning process and regardless of our finish in the Big XII tourney or the NCAAs, we will get better. I guarantee it. The Twins are ridiculous athletes, as are Thomas and Appleton, and if we can keep them togother (and not transfer), this team has amazing upside. Coach Self will have blue-chippers at KU for a long, long time. His recruiting capabilities are light years better than Coach Williams and his formula of combo guards with big men that run the floor is a proven formula for success.Btw, anyone following this Perry Ellis kid in Wichita? Freshman averaging a double / double at the varsity level at my H.S. alma mater, Wichita Heights, also the alma mater for Darnell Valtentine and Antoine Carr! We need this guy in Lawrence in 4 yrs.

100 11 years, 2 months ago

No kidding, re Elllis. He will be a great Jayhawk. He's only getting taller too. He might be close to 7 feet by the time he's finished growing.

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